FATHER MODERATOR'S EASTER MESSAGE 2016
Father Moderator’s Easter Message 2016
Alleluia, the Lord is Risen!
Today, the journey to Calvary has ended and a beautiful spring breeze echoes into our soul. There is something beautiful budding brought by that paschal mystery of Jesus Christ. There is something pretty good that is starting to unfold.
Yes, we went through ground zero when our Lord was suffering. He embraced all the pain, insult, rejection and even death on the cross. All for love of the world and all humanity.
The unfolding of the vintages of darkness and fear (Passion, Death and Resurrection) that gives the hopeless hope, and the mourners joy. Let us breathe in Jesus’ freshness and absorb the newness of the moment. Everything has changed. Death is changed. Life is changed.
In the Gospel, a woman and a man, both faithful to the Lord had confronted the emptiness of the tomb. Likewise, we are also called to confront the same empty tomb. Jesus is not in the tomb. Again, it seemed to be another disgusting event in the story of Jesus’ resurrection. But that is it! He is missing. Do you understand why Jesus is not in the tomb?
Like any Christian believer, we believe even if we do not fully understand the mystery of the resurrection. But the lost body of our Lord points to the highlight of our faith, a faith in a God who defeated death. He transformed the cross into a symbol of salvation and eternal life. Though still very unclear and not easy to grasp by the human mind, we still proclaim our faith and celebrate it in the Holy sacrifice of the Mass.
In the Holy Mass, we experience a leap of faith. Why? Because Jesus Christ is present in various ways. He is present in the person of the priest who offers the sacrifice of the Mass. (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council). He is also present in his Word since it is he himself who speaks when the holy scriptures are read in the Church. Christ is present in the assembled people as they pray and sing, for he has promised ‘where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them' (Mt 18:20)" (Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 7). But more sacramentally, Jesus Christ is present under the appearance of bread and wine as "real" in order to emphasize the special nature of that presence. What appears to be bread and wine is in its very substance the Body and Blood of Christ. The entire Christ is present, God and man, body and blood, soul and divinity. While the other ways in which Christ is present in the celebration of the Eucharist are certainly not unreal, this way surpasses the others. This presence is called ‘real' not to exclude the idea that the others are ‘real' too, but rather to indicate presence par excellence, because it is substantial and through it Christ becomes present whole and entire, God and man (Mysterium Fidei, no. 39).
We have celebrated the most phenomenal order of the Holy Eucharist in commemoration of the Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection. Having been received the blessings from the liturgies, sacramentals and in the very Eucharistic celebrations in the past days of the Holy Week, we thank Jesus, our risen Lord, for giving us new life and new beginning. Without having to die, we feel reborn. And even if we do not really earn and understand this story of our salvation, we are assured of a glorified destiny.
My dear brothers and sisters in the risen Lord, let us continue to pray though for those who hate and refuse to see the Light. Let us, at least, make them feel the heat, the warmth of God's love! The mission of Jesus continues...
Have a grace-filled Easter!
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